My big break

By at home

The credit crunch has made it tougher for young people to get on the career ladder. We follow one graduate as she attempts to land her dream job…

Name: Deepali Soni
Age: 22
Degree: Communications & Media Studies at Brunel University
Dream job: Media executive/TV presenter

June 27 2009: Party!
What a night! It was great to be out with all my friends, celebrating our graduation, but sad to know that we’ll all be going our separate ways. Some have already found jobs – and I know the decision I took to concentrate on my studies for the last year instead of job hunting in advance is going to mean moving back home and away from London for a while.

There was so much pressure on us last term and I don’t know how I’d have coped if I’d been looking for work, too. Most of my friends had dreadful experiences. Apart from the fact that they had to neglect their coursework to trawl the job sites, I can’t remember a day when one of them didn’t text message me with tales of their latest rejection letter. Awful!

July 6 2009: Back to reality
Struggling to stay motivated today. Living at home with Mum, Dad and little brother is fine, but how am I supposed to look for that perfect job when I’ve got a part-time job working at the jewellers? Plus, because they’re working, most of my friends are now scattered around the country so there aren’t many people to hang out with. I need to get back to London as soon as possible as there’ll be much more going on.

I’m managing to properly look for jobs about three or four times a week now but the news is so awful – job losses, rising unemployment, competition for graduate places – I’m starting to worry. Am going to send my CV to some recruitment agencies to see how I do. I can just imagine I’ll be one of thousands doing the same thing so won’t get my hopes up. Why did I choose the media as my ideal career?

July 24 2009: oh so quiet
I’ve come to the conclusion that agencies just don’t work for me. I sent my CV off to loads of them and had two really bad phone interviews where they asked me a few questions but barely registered any interest. It was really impersonal. I mean, am I supposed to trust them to sell me to potential employers?

They say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, so I’ve sent a few emails to the companies where I did work experience during my time at university. Maybe they’ll remember me and give me a place on one of their graduate schemes.

At least the job at the jewellers is keeping me going. They’re really lovely there and have said I can have time off for interviews whenever I need it. Not that they’re coming through thick and fast…

August 7 2009: Showtime
Need to be quick as I’ve just had some amazing news and I’m still all over the place. Earlier in the week, I noticed that one of the big media companies I’d interned with has one place free on its grad scheme. I called the HR person directly and she called me in for an interview. I just got back – it was brilliant!

I was expecting something super-formal so I was terrified. Met some friends for lunch first but couldn’t eat any of my pizza. In the end, though, the interview was really fun… until they gave me a shock by calling the boss in to meet me. They’re going to let me know how I got on next week as there’s one more person in the running. How am I going to get through the weekend?

August 24 2009: big break
Got the job! And today was my first day as a graduate trainee. Cue designer shoes and my most fashionable outfit. It’s so great to be here – I think all the waiting made me ill, so when HR called to say I’d been successful, I was in bed with a cold.

My brother saw my mobile phone ring and came crashing into my room, jumping up and down. I managed to sound thrilled even though all I could do was croak. I accepted there and then. Mum and Dad came running in, too, and hugged me. It was awesome. So now I’m officially living the dream and consider myself really lucky to have got the place. I’ve already learned loads and can’t wait to get to work tomorrow. Look out London, I’ve arrived!

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